Near Inverness in Northern California along the Estero Trail, there is a secret little beach littered with cetacean fossils that are roughly 7 million years old. These cetaceans were the ancestors of the modern day gray whale, and this particular area used to be their breeding ground. The whole hike is only about 9 miles round trip, and there is only a minimal amount of bushwhacking necessary to get to the fossils. Continue reading
Some buddies and I headed over to Lassen Volcanic National Park last Friday, and we just got back. None of us had ever been there, and to be honest we barely did any research. We fell back to Lassen because we decided against doing Mount Ritter again (due to weather), and we were curious about the place. It is a relatively remote park in the Cascade region near Redding, California. We just knew that we wanted to climb Lassen Peak – a volcano, of course. Continue reading
While boarding the Tiburon-San Francisco ferry to begin my commute home last night, a pigeon also hopped on board. As we ferried across the bay, the bird walked around the cabin investigating everything. It even hopped up onto an empty chair, and investigated the table in front of it.
Near the end of the ride, it had resigned itself to strutting back and fourth near the entrance of the cabin, and then stopped to take a poop. When it turned around after pooping (to continue with its pacing), it spotted the poop out of the corner of its eye, and plunged its head down to peck at it. Only when the bird’s face was half a centimeter away did it realize that the stuff was its own poop and not a piece of food that magically appeared during the poop break, and it recoiled. Continue reading
When I am sick, I have a habit of still selecting my favourite foods to eat. And even though I cannot taste them, it still feels better to eat foods I like than foods I dislike. Because I rememberrrrrrrr…
I’ve often been asked, “Steen, how did you get to be the gibbering Eldritch horror you are today?”
At last, in this totally factual tell-all autobiography, you can learn the exciting details of my origin.
Did this creature parasitize me? Did I transform into it? My dear reader, this is for you to decide.
Sometime during my undergrad years, I discovered that you could download The Oregon Trail for PC and play it at your leisure. No more waiting excitedly for the Thursday computer lab session, where you could maybe shoot a bear and then you’d die of dysentery and then you’d have to let your classmate have a go as you looked on frustrated. This was altogether perfect and wonderful. After all, due to the nature of Thursday computer lab sessions, The Oregon Trail was both desired and unobtainable. Urban legends of people “winning The Oregon Trail” were obvious fabrications, that shit was unwinnable – a simple fact of programming.
One of the first things I discovered upon playing The Oregon Trail in college was that: kids are stupid. Continue reading
I sat near a young family on a BART train this weekend, as I rode from 24th street to West Oakland. The parents were in their mid 30s, the first child was perhaps 7 years old, and the second child was perhaps 2. Every family member had some form of assorted luggage with them, even the children. However, as the train approached Embarcadero, the mother began saying goodbye to her family, and kissed her youngest daughter several times as the train pulled up to the stop. The youngest seemed to enjoy her mother’s kisses, but was also calm and mildly disinterested; content to gaze out the window.
Following the discovery of a new, natural whale fall in Antarctica (announced Wednesday), I entertained a brief obsession with marine snow and the communities that build up around whale falls. It is amazing how a whale carcass can support such a totally unique and vibrant community for 70 years or more. Of course it makes sense; since the sea floor is such a low-energy zone and there is a lot of food to be had on a whale.
Whale falls are incredibly difficult to find, because you must stumble upon the site of a whale carcass on the ocean floor entirely by chance. The deep sea floor is incredibly difficult to explore, and so the chances of finding a felled whale carcass get lower and lower the deeper it sinks. This is why most of what we know about whale fall communities come from “artificial” whale falls, or whale carcasses which scientists sink and then study the progression of the community which arises.
For our first anniversary, Doc and I shot some more couples’ double-exposures (see also “The Couples’ Roll” we shot back in October). It just so happened that on the day of our anniversary, aside from there being a big rally, Lomography was holding a double-exposure walk through Chinatown.
On this roll I shot first, then we re-wound the film and Doc shot on my shots. None of the shots were planned for how they would interact with the other person’s – we wanted that to be random.
One particularly balmy summer’s night of 2012, I couldn’t get to sleep until I had all the windows wide open to allow a minuscule bit of breeze in. Unfortunately, what was a sleep aid earlier in the night came to facilitate my abrupt awakening later on.
The sounds of a man’s voice shouting, a woman’s voice replying groggily, and a car engine idling rose directly into my ears via the open windows.